About PDA Group

PDA Entertainment Group is pleased to present to you one of the largest, most diverse comprehensive website of distinguished personalities in the world! We have over 2,500  performing artists and entertainers, including spokespeople from the worlds of politics, science, sports, literature and theater. In arranging for a guest speaker or performer through PDA you may select national and international leaders, distinguished, athletes, journalists, newscasters, comedians, musicians, performing artists, spoken word, celebrities of the stage and screen and observers of the contemporary scene. All are dynamic, eloquent personalities whose ideas and actions have had an impact on the broad tapestry of human thought and endeavor.

On our web site you will find listed the people who perform on the issues and the events which will affect our lives in 2019 and beyond. Our website is designed to assist you in finding programs most appropriate for the needs of your particular group. We hope you will enjoy looking through it and will e-mail or call us sometime soon to let us know more about your organization. Your account executive at PDA is trained to make recommendations that suit your interests, your own style of programming and your budget requirements.

Whether you are in the market for a superstar or a blockbuster series, a modestly priced package of events, or a single reliable program, we can provide excellent suggestions. It is our belief that good programming depends on thoughtful and sensitive recommendations. As our reputation depends on your success, you can be assured that we will do our best to assist you.

PDA Entertainment Group is very proud of its fine reputation. Since we are a service organization, we are constantly looking to find better ways to assist you. We see our job as a continual one that extends far beyond the time of any booking and requires that we take all steps needed to insure the smooth successful running of you program. You have our word that we will continue to strive for excellence in the caliber of speakers, entertainers and performers we represent and in the quality of our service to you.

We are proud that PDA Entertainment Group has become one of the country’s leading entertainment agencies. We've reached the top of our profession because of our quality service and the trust and confidence you have had in us. We are grateful for the privilege of working with you and we hope to continue to do so for many years to come.

An American Tradition

Even back in the 1800’s the lecture and entertainment circuit was alive in America. In churches and halls from the Alleghenies to the Rockies, people hungry for information paid its dimes and dollars for an evening’s entertainment. Often the society into which they grouped themselves was called a "lyceum". In 1831 the American Lyceum Association, now called the International Platform Association, was founded to institute a chain of societies for weekly lectures and debates. The system flourished for years and the original lyceum format established the groundwork for our present day circuit. Daniel Webster was the country’s leading speaker in the 1830’s and was the founder and first president of the American Lyceum Association.

The first lecture bureau and entertainment agency was started in 1867 when James Redpath heard Charles Dickens discuss the hardships of lecturing in America. He decided to do something about the novelist's complaint and founded Redpath's Lyceum Bureau, which not only made life easier for itinerant lecturers and entertainers, but also organized programs for winter entertainment in all the larger cities. From the beginning, James Redpath's lyceum bureau was a success and he represented such people as Mark Twain, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Charles Dickens.

In 1906, Keith Vawter originated the idea of bringing summer culture and entertainment to the small towns and rural areas. He combined culture and comedy on the same platform in a traveling tent. Vawter married the respectability of the Lyceum to the spangles of the stage, naming his presentation "Chautauqua" after the cultural institution permanently established on Lake Chautauqua, New York. The "Chautauqua Circuit" separated the pulpit from the platform and substituted footlights for the religious dimness of the Sunday schoolroom. Once launched, it became a might influence on America’s entertainment, education, politics and culture. The Chautauqua ten programs were quire varied but the lecture was the program's backbone.

Topping the list of orators were William Jennings Bryan, Robert M. La Folette and Calvin Coolidge. The serious portions of a program were tactfully leavened by performers, magicians, impersonators and puppeteers. Our web site is a tribute to the modern day lecture platform. To us, the birth date of the "Chautauqua Circuit" also symbolizes the birth of the modern lecture bureau and the entertainment agency, the first organized booking agency to arrange appearances by dignitaries and performing artists throughout the country. PDA is pleased to continue the proud tradition of Daniel Webster, the American Lyceum Association, Redpath’s Lyceum Bureau and the "Chautauqua Circuit".

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    -Natural Products Expo East
  • PDA Group assisted us in securing the services of Mr. Montel Williams as a Keynote Speaker for one of our signature events in Cleveland, Ohio in 2014.  Peter was very helpful and professiona......

    -Linda D.Bradley, MD - Cleveland Clinic
  • Everything went well. Atsuko was very easy to work with and the students enjoyed her performance! Thank you again for your recommendation and I hope to work with you again in the future!

    -Central Michigan University
  • "The service provided by PDA Speakers was most helpful. We were able to give an outline of what we wanted and had some great suggestions given for the most suitable speakers. We would be happy to b......

    -Program Chair
    University of Chicago
  • Our speaker was great and the crowd enjoyed her! She was very engaging. Thank you again PDA for the great list of suggestions!

  • Ernie was perfect for our Elders Conference at Little River Casino Resort in Manistee, Michigan. We will definitely be using ......

    -Little River Band of Ottawa Indians
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    -Grand Valley State University
  • Mr. Alex Rosner's moving presentation to our students at Bucknell University made such an important difference in their understanding of the human dimension of the Holocaust. Mr. Rosner's shared......

    -Bucknell University
  • Everything went fantastic. I hope that Viola Davis and her family felt welcomed and enjoyed their time in Portland and participating in our event. The impact of her keynote was humbling and inspiri......

    -Concordia University
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    -Indiana University, South Bend
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    -Northern State University
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    Thank you so much for your hard work in scheduling our speaker! From the moment we reached out to you the first time, you worked with us on all details an......

    -SAP Company
  • Everything went very well. Mr. Johnson did a great job of interacting with the students and Q&A. Thank you again Peter for your recommendation!

    -Claflin University
  • Thank you Peter Walker for your assistance on bringing Hill Harper to our School. Such a success!

    -Taylor Reeves
    President African American Student Alliance
  • Just a quick note to let you know Ms. Webb-Christburg did an outstanding job.  Comments ranged from mesmerizing to inspirational.  The students, faculty, staff and community all enjoye......

    -The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
  • "I wanted to thank you for your services for our event. Peter and your team have been fantastic throughout this entire process. You made our event run so smooth with the assembly of Gavin's crew an......

    -Corporate Event featuring Gavin DeGraw
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  • Thank you again Dr. Kimbrough for a great presentation, our attendees are still talking about it!

    -Campus Labs
  • Dr. Henry Lee's presentation was entertaining, insightful and wise. I, and everyone at Pfizer, especially appreciate the remar......

  • "The Langston Hughes Project attracted the most diverse audience I have ever seen on our campus.  Young and old, black and white, students and teachers, university administrators and community......

    -Dr. Peter Madsen
    University of Nebraska-Omaha
  • It was a great pleasure to work with PDA Group! The communication was always prompt, friendly and helpful. We loved the speakers and events we booked through Mr. Peter Walker (PDA Group).

    -Western Michigan University
  • Everything went wonderfully. Sherry Brantley was fantastic! and she was the right choice for us at this time. Thanks again for all your help.

    -Nazareth College
  • "Thank you PDA Group for your assistance on bringing Russell Simmons Def Poetry to our campus!"

    -Simone Dozier
    University of South Carolina
  • I hope that this message finds you well. We had a phenomenal time with Atsuko this past Thursday. We wanted to just let you kn......

    -Baylor University Campus
  • Thank you Peter for helping us bring in the cast from MTV'S Real World to Furman University. They were great!

    -Mary Catherine Wilder Program Chair
    Furman University
  • PDA Group is the best. Thank you for helping us bring in MTV Jersey Shore Cast. Huge success!!

    -Ashley Weber
    Augustana College
  • Ms. Webb-Christburg, it was an honor to host you on our campus. Your speech was well received by everyone in attendance, and pr......

    -University of Vermont
    MLK Speaker
  • Thank you Peter for all your help, you'll be happy to know that the event went incredibly well! Aneesa Ferreira was by far one......

    -Furman University
  • My interaction with Peter was great as always. This is the second year we have used PDA Speakers. We have never been disappointed with the authors that have visited us.

    -Program Chair
    University Of Michigan
  • "Thank you Peter for arranging Jay Sean to sing at my son's Bar Mitzvah".

    -Private Client
    Bar Mitzvah featuring Jay Sean
  • Our thanks again to PDA Group for your help in setting up this year's program. You really helped me out in terms of saving time and I appreciated your ability to suggest speakers who were in keepin......

    -Melissia Schmidt, Program Chair
    University of Rochester
  • Everything went great! and our speaker was wonderful! Thank you so much for all your help PDA! Looking forward to the next one.<......

    -University of Missouri – Kansas City
  • "We were looking for a smaller-scale, lower budgeted for our comedy series and Peter Walker gave us some great suggestions of comedians!"

    -Audrey Cawley
    Fordham University
  • Rosalyn McMillan was great! Everyone really enjoyed her. Thank you, Peter Walker for your help on bring her to our campus!

    -Claflin University
  • We had a fantastic day with Inge! She was very engaging with all those that attended. Her personal stories about the holocaust......

    -Salt Lake Community College
  • The feedback on Ilyasah Shabazz was great! She was very receptive and spent a lot of time answering questions and making a personal connection with the students. Thank you Peter for all your har......

    -Claflin University
  • "Our organization has been dealing with PDA Speakers Bureau for many years. We have found both the content and quality of speaker exceptional, making our meetings much more successful. Peter from ......

    -Program Chair
    University of Alabama
  • Jordan Carlos was very very entertaining! A majority of students who answered the event survey indicated they really enjoyed Jordan and de......

    -Western Carolina University
  • Coach Ken Carter was fantastic! You were both inspirational and motivational. Thank you for a wonderful performance. People li......

    -Ball State University
  • The event was successful! I received many messages expressing how awesome, outstanding and inspiring Ms. Webb-Christburg speech was."

    -Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Breakfast, Boston
    MLK Speaker
  • We are fortunate to have a long standing relationship with PDA Group and find them very easy to work with. I know that almost as soon as I email Peter about a guest speaker, I receive a reply and a......

    -Christine Kennedy
    Program Chair University of Texas
  • On behalf of myself and my organization Entertainment Unlimited the Campus Programming Board of Ferris State University, we th......

    -Ferris State University
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